Walden Two | Study Guide

B. F. Skinner

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Walden Two | Chapter 6 | Summary



We are introduced to the "Walk," a wide, curving corridor that follows the contour of the hillside against which one of the buildings sits. This building includes the bedrooms of the guests.

The group discusses crowds and scheduling. Frazier begins by explaining to Burris and the others many people in the community are indoors on a beautiful day because they have the choice to be outside anytime. Their freedom from the daily grind precludes their need to seek out freedom. He explains the theater has a limited seating capacity because it is more efficient to repeat a performance than to have a large space that is unused much of the time. He adds sports matches are irrelevant at Walden Two, declaring the community does not idolize athletes.

Frazier proclaims crowds are unproductive and unhealthy and not required for balanced personal and social relations. This leads to a discussion of how dining is organized around a "staggered schedule," allowing people to eat within windows of time instead of fixed narrow time slots.


Frazier makes several psychological assumptions in this chapter. He states loneliness makes individuals seek out crowds. He goes quite far in claiming housewives crave large gatherings because the women lack friends and affection. Barbara is offended by this and argues another reason to seek out crowds is meeting "interesting people." This is another situation in which a male character displays sexism. It is also notable the symbol of the Walk is introduced in this chapter since it is like an artery of socialization. It is a place where one can be in and out of doors, use a library or conference room, or look out the curving glass wall at the natural beauty of the property.

Burris admits he was eager to witness some "regimentation" in the dining habits, but Frazier flatly denies it exists. He describes the "staggered schedule" as the most flexible for everyone, as most people don't feel the need to dine at exactly the same time anyway. He goes on to say the overall effect of the staggered schedule is liberation from the confines of institutionalization. Burris's response to Frazier's long-winded "harangue" is unflattering: he compares him to a long-winded tour guide.

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